Mountain Gorilla Tours in Rwanda & DR Congo
In Africa the unique, special and must visit attractions are the Gorillas which every visitor to Africa would wish to visit first before vacating the Land and plains of Africa, Gorillas are mostly found in the Western, Central and Eastern forests of Africa. In the Western part of Africa Gorillas are rarely seen which makes visitors leave but doubting the experience, Central and Eastern Part of Africa are the best places to go with 100% assurance of seeing both shy endangered Mountain and Lowland Gorillas in their habitats.
When I talk about gorillas you may ask yourself how does it look, Gorillas are herbivorous ground dwelling (feed only on ground) apes which feed on young bamboo shoot, stem, flowers, Sugar canes, tree leaves, foliage and some fruits which include Jack fruits, Mangoes, Avocado, Cabbages, Water melon, grapes, apples and more. Since they only feed on ground most of these fruits are just provided by human beings like park rangers because for them, they do not have capabilities of climbing trees to hunt for these fruits.
Gorillas are composed of two major species named Mountain and Lowland Gorillas which are further divided into Subspecies like Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Western Lowland Gorillas and more, when you compare the two, they differ in color, size, height, outlook and weight with Mountain Gorillas being black in color and Lowland gorillas are brownish in color, Lowland gorillas are bigger and taller than Mountain Gorillas and to have this experience practically it is the high time you parked all your logistics and take a gorilla tour in East and Central Africa.
Best places to go for Mountain and Lowland Gorillas in Rwanda & DR Congo
When it comes to Rwanda “Land of a thousand hills” the only place to go for the shy endangered Mountain Gorillas is Volcanoes National Park. Volcanoes National Park is located in the North western part of Rwanda in Ruhengeri province bordering Virunga National Park of Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda; it is characterized with tropical rain forest and bamboo forest where Golden Monkeys are residents.
Tropical rain forest of Volcanoes National Park comprises of big tree species, thorns and hooks, shrubs, primates which include Black & White Colobus Monkeys, Blue monkeys, Vervets, Red tailed Monkeys, baboons, bush babies, insects like Butterflies, tsetse flies, bees, reptiles like snakes, python, Gabon Viper, Black cobra and more.
It’s about 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali town up to Volcanoes National Park with en-route game viewing, Volcanoes National Park only host Mountain Gorillas with no lowland Gorillas Species, this destination is characterized with three volcanic mountains for hiking named Muhabura, Karisimbi and Mountain Bisoke.
Virunga National Park. This is Africa’s oldest National Park formerly called Albert National Park, it was established to provide home to the remaining Gorilla population of Democratic Republic of Congo. This park is located in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo bordering Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda.
It’s characterized with both tropical rain forest and some parts covered with Bamboo forests, this thick tropical rain forest of Virunga National Park consists of big tree species, shrubs, thorns and hooks, Savannah grasslands, different primates like Black & White Colobus Monkeys, Vervets, Blue Monkeys, Red tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Hyenas, antelopes, kobs, mammals like owls, bats, Chameleon, Reptiles like Black Cobras, Python, Gabon viper, lizards, insects which include butter flies, tsetse flies, bees, different bird species which are sighted crossing while on the trekking journey in the Jungle and more.
The commonest activity done is gorilla trekking which involves following established routes in a group leading you into the Jungle in search of these apes very excited and eager to see them playing with their young ones, feeding, laughing and taking some photos of them for memories.
Kahuzi Biega National Park. This popularly known destination is also located in Democratic Republic of Congo commonly known for the Lowland Gorillas; Kahuzi Biega National Park is Characterized with thick tropical rain forest, savannah grasslands, bamboo forests and some parts covered with Swamps where different bird species are sighted, trekking in the Jungle in search of these shy endangered Lowland Gorillas awards you opportunities of getting closer to nature where you sight different big tree species, thorns and hooks, different primates like Black & White Colobus Monkeys, Red tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Vervets, Reptiles which include black cobras, Python, Gabon Viper, Lizards and more. Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary is another place to go while in Kahuzi Biega National Park and it was gazetted to protect the rescued orphaned Chimpanzees but the main activity done is Lowland gorilla trekking.
The Price of Permits for trekking Mountain and Lowland Gorillas in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo differs, Rwanda Gorilla trekking permit costs $1500 USD per person and that of Democratic Republic of Congo costs $400 USD per person which reflects a big difference thus considering Democratic Republic of Congo to be cheaper as far as gorilla trekking.